Millennial Catholic Ellen B. Koneck writes:
The forethought of grief: That is what all of this feels like.
That is why it is so familiar.
In therapy, a few weeks after my brother’s death, I learned the word pre-grief. It probably has a technical, psychological definition, but as far as I am concerned it means you prepare for something you actively hope against. You simultaneously prepare for a death and refuse to call it preparing because preparation would somehow be a concession to the illness, to the possibility that this illness could take over, could take his life.
And that is what it has felt like lately: that constant negotiation between the absolute absurdity and absolute necessity of hope and the simultaneous, equally absurd preparation for the worst. A pandemic that I know is only going to get closer to home, only going to get worse—well, do I know that? I don’t know. There could be a cure or sufficient social solidarity. I hope so. But while I hope, I prepare for exponential escalation.
Hope and prepare, prepare and hope.
I don’t know what else to do, so I do both.
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